Visit to Tonga

Joint media release

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP
  • Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

We will travel to Tonga from 22 to 23 March to observe Australia’s contributions to the recovery effort following Tropical Cyclone Gita, which struck on 12 February.

Australia supported its close Pacific partner in responding to this disaster, which has enabled the Tongan Government, the Red Cross Movement, the Tongan Women and Children Crisis Centre and CARE Australia to deliver urgent assistance to communities affected by this disaster.

During our visit we will meet Prime Minister Pohiva and members of his Cabinet including Minister for Disaster Management and Climate Change the Hon Poasi Tei. We will visit communities to observe response efforts and meet with some of those who have received Australia’s targeted recovery payments in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

We will also visit the Taliai Military Camp to meet with members of His Majesty’s Armed Forces, to discuss ongoing cooperation between our armed forces during this challenging time. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has delivered 135 tonnes of relief items to Tonga including emergency shelters, hygiene and dignity kits, and water purification tablets.

The visit will be an opportunity to thank many Australians who are working with Tongans to deliver our humanitarian response. This includes officers from the ADF and Australian Federal Police, Australian Volunteers, an Australian humanitarian specialist seconded to the National Emergency Management Office and staff at the Australian High Commission in Nuku’alofa.